Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saline nasal rinse solutions

Many people, but especially those with allergies, often develop sinusitis and even ear infections because of the failure to remove the excessive mucus from the nasal cavities. The removal of this mucus will often help clear the sinus infections, stop the post-nasal drainage and cough.

From the AAAAI website comes the following notes:
Saline sinus rinses can often bring relief to patients with chronic sinus or rhinitis problems. The rinses are easy to use, but may take a little “getting used to.” The following provides instructions on how to use sinus rinses and make up the solution; several different commercial products are also available.

• Pickling or canning salt, containing no iodine, anti-caking agents, or preservatives, which can be irritating to the nasal lining
• Baking soda
In a clean container, mix three heaping teaspoons of iodine-free salt with one rounded teaspoon of baking soda and store in a small airtight container. Add one teaspoon of the above recipe to eight ounces (one cup) of lukewarm distilled or boiled water. Use less dry ingredients to make a weaker solution if burning or stinging is experienced. For children, use a half-teaspoon with four ounces of water.

Get a soft rubber ear bulb syringe, infant nasal bulb or a commercial nasal saline rinse product from your drug store and administer the rinse by following these steps:
• Draw up saline into this product and instill approximately four ounces of solution gently into the right nostril with your head tilted downward and rotated to the left. Breathe normally through your mouth and in a few seconds the solution should come out the other nostril. Repeat the process by rotating your head rightward and instilling four ounces of solution gently into the left nostril.
• You may need to adjust your head position so the solution does not go down the back of the throat or into the ears.
• To prevent the solution from going into the ear and causing discomfort, blow the nose very gently.
• You may now use your prescribed nasal medications and they may work better than before the sinus rinse. Do not use sinus rinses if the nasal passageway is severely blocked.
• It is recommended to use the sinus rinses in the shower so they don’t create a mess, but they may also be used over a sink.

As with any medical product, be sure to speak to your doctor about using sinus rinses and stop using if you experience pain, nosebleeds, or other problems.

Another point: clean the nasal rinse equipment routinely to prevent growth of bacteria and viruses. Some authorities recommend using soap or dilute bleach or alcohol from mouth wash. Every member of the family should have have their own nasal rinse equipment.

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